The sudden firing of 58-year-old Lisa LaFlamme as the lead anchor and chief editor of CTV National News, and her replacement by a 39-year-old man, did not go well, not at all.
The public termination of a much-loved figure in Canadian journalism was one thing. But a heartbroken LaFlamme had to announce the news in person on Twitter, rather than bid her farewell on CTV.
Who jumped in to tweet how “excited” they were to get their job? His replacement, Omar Sachedina, who may be a good TV journalist but whose social skills match those of CTV management: awkward, obnoxious, alienating to the viewer.
LaFlamme’s predecessor, Lloyd Robertson, left his job at age 77. CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge retired at 69. So what was it about LaFlamme that put her in the same vanishing spot as Robertson 21 years earlier? Hmm.
What the beavertonreported Canada’s prized satirical newspaper (“say young”) and young, CTV owner Bell Media must have known they were wrong, apologizing for subjecting viewers to the sight of an old lady.
Apparently, they had been distracted by LaFlamme’s continued appeal, saying, according to The Beaverton, “Women over fifty shouldn’t be breaking the news, they should be taking it easy by knitting, gardening, or playing with their great-grandchildren. ”
Sachedina, The Beaverton said, is expected to remain in the post until he “resigns due to extreme old age or dies of extreme old age.” But from now on, female CTV staff will undergo regular birth certificate checks and have their telomeres measured for signs of chromosomal aging. So that’s good.
Farther away, women are disappearing everywhere. JK Rowling, speaking in support of writer Salman Rushdie, who was nearly killed on stage last week, received even more death threats than usual.
Rowling has defended the continued use of the word “woman” against the terms preferred by some, namely “menstruators”. But the Scottish writer is in limbo there.
I was amused to hear that a local Scottish Council has appointed the nation’s first “Period Dignity Officer,” who will travel the country educating people about periods and products for “anyone of any gender,” menopause, and other uterine issues.
He’s Jason Grant, a personal trainer who looks to be in his twenties, which means he’ll probably, CTV-style, stay on the job bullying people about cramps for the next 47 years.
“Have we ever tried to explain to men how to shave or how to take care of their prostate or whatever?” Navratilova was pretty upset, but Grant, currently reading the insertion instructions on tampon boxes with mounting panic, will stay the course.
Women continue to disappear from the news where they are most likely to appear: police reports of “people” being sexually assaulted and murdered, and stories about “people pregnant” in Canada’s underserved hospitals.
The disappearance of women may be due to a backlash against the achievements of women in previous decades (we had jobs and all), but it may also be pandemic panic. Like all media, CTV wants attention but there is a dilemma.
You may decide to repel older viewers, but they are the ones with the money. Younger viewers sound appealing, but can they subscribe to CTV’s online journalism? Do they even want it? Why?
Readers and viewers develop passionate attachments. I, for example, watch “How To With John Wilson”, a documentary series about the serial humiliations of a gentile soul living in New York. I don’t know what HBO charges me and I don’t care. I must have Wilson, 35, and your old landladyabout LaFlamme’s age, say, 87, in my lifetime.
And that’s how you make money. A world without women does not appeal to me. I will not subscribe, I will not watch it, I will not read it or vote for it. I wish CTV the best in its future endeavours. Good day to you sir.